Virtual sports have come a long way…
From the earlier days of virtual dogs and horses filling in the gaps in the retail schedule, virtual sports have now become a mainstream entertainment vertical across all channels. With this, we have seen new sports available, which has meant many new companies entering and saturating the market in the last two years.
This Saturation of products has been met with mixed success by players and operators but one of the key factors for any virtual games success is the maths of virtual sports, which is an easy proposition for a sports bookmaker to understand. Virtual Sports are proven to add between 15% and 20% to your revenue at an ideal margin of 18%, which is different from selling casino games, where it is never truly clear what value a new slot game would add, the argument for virtuals is clear and concise.
Although the virtual sport betting industry was born in the UK, it has quickly expanded globally, with the legalisation of virtuals in Italy proving a massive growth opportunity. With these clear benefits to the operator the last 10 years has seen a growth in virtual suppliers entering the space to gain a slice of this ever-increasing market.
As a first adopter of virtuals, the question for VSoftCo has been how do you define yourself in an increasingly competitive market place? The core to the strategy of VSoftCo, can be defined in three simple concepts, celebrating our differences by thinking outside the box and expanding beyond virtuals.
Celebrating Our Differences
The core principle to the VSoftCo strategy has been to celebrate our differences from our competitors. Although other suppliers try to make claims about their technology we are the only supplies who provides a real time virtual game. This means every game is a unique instance and not built from a library of pre-rendered clips. We expanded this concept through working with players of Sheffield United Football Club to accentuate and embrace our differences.
Consequently, VSoftCo is the only provider in which the virtual game is 100% motion captured using professional footballers, so the players movements truly replicate the action that occurs in a real football match. The increased library of motion capture sequences means that each match has over 2.5 million different outcomes and allows us to incorporate changes to real football such as the new kick off sequence easily and seamlessly into the game.
The real time technology allows for unique bet markets such as first goal scorer, which accounts for 30% of bets and is the most popular bet type on the market, closely followed by 1×2. VSoftCo also used our real time rendered technology to be the first certified supplier of virtual league football in Italy. Although other operators had embraced the black market, VSoftCo stayed true to our principal of only working in regulated markets. The real time rendered technology allowed us to quickly adapt our single game to fulfil the key requirement of ensuring every betable event was visually displayed.
Thinking Outside The Box:
In addition to unique technology that clearly defines VSoftCo as different, it is clearly not enough. So in mid-2016 it was decided to adopt a strategy to work with known brands, to create a branded experience of players. From experience we have all seen the success of branded slot content so it was a simple decision for VSoftCo to enter into an agreement with Striker, to create the first branded virtual football game.
The benefit of this brand, is the passion that has come from Striker to create not just a virtual football game but a virtual football league. It would have been easy to simply just take the characters and put them in the game. However, as always at VSoftCo we go the extra mile, the events of the Warbury Warrior’s matches in our virtual league will influence the outcome of the comic story line, which is shown in The Sun and on the Striker YouTube channel.
Looking past a virtual football league the team are currently working on a Fantasy sport version of VStriker, which will allow a new vertical for followers of Striker and fantasy sports betting to follow. The concept of fantasy betting on a virtual following league is exciting for both VSoftCo and operators.
Expanding Beyond Verticals:
It has become clear over the last two years, as we have developed into the home of virtual football that this concept could be expanded into casino gaming. A plan has been put together to develop bespoke casino football content so that gaming operators know we are truly the Omni channel kings for football content in the gaming space.
The first foray of VSoftCo into this market has been warmly received. Spot the Ball, takes virtual football into the casino market. It combines pre-rendered virtual football clips with the well-known concept of Spot the Ball and roulette. Bringing a whole new fun dimension to all the time classic game of roulette. Associating roulette, virtual football and Spot the Ball has bought a fast paced, fun and exciting game to the player. With gaming operators competing to be the first to take this fun and exciting concept into both the online and retail space.
Plans are afoot to quickly add to this first game, with branded slots for Striker being developed and another fun roulette game called Boot For Loot being developed.
All of the above combined with VSoftCo’s flexible remote game server, means that for the first time, virtual football content and casino content can be delivered in an Omni-channel environment to operators through one simple integration. The journey over the last ten years has been fun as VSoftCo has developed to compete in a expanding market place. However, it is clear by working with existing partners, the path to expansion through celebrating our difference, thinking outside the box and expanding into new gaming virtuals, VSoftCo is an exciting proposition for a gaming operator whichever global market they operate in.